Agenda and minutes

Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny - Wednesday, 8th January, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item



To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting


The minutes from 03 December 2019 were agreed as correct and then signed by the Chairman.


Cllr Adeleke commence the meeting and confirmed that there is a Town Councillor from Berkhamsted who will be doing some filming tonight.  The decision has been checked with the Legal Department and they have advised that this is okay.  Cllr Adeleke asked if any member wished to say anything about it and also asked that the Members agree or disagree that the filming must not be used for political purposes. 


P White clarified that the law says that members of the public are able to film public meetings with a view to report on those public meetings and he intends to use it to report on this public meeting, which is allowed within the law.


Cllr Adeleke asked if Members were happy with that.


Cllr Bassadone queried who it was going to be reported to, generally to the public.


P White confirmed it was and maybe some other groups who are interested.


Cllr Oguchi queried the nature of the reporting.


P White advised he was a Councillor from Berkhamsted Town Council and the matter up for discussion this evening is of great interest to lots of Berkhamsted residents and many would like to know the discussions which happens this evening and like to know and understand the discussion points which are made.


Cllr Adeleke asked if the Portfolio Holder wished to add any comments.  Cllr Griffiths made a general comment which was to make sure that all Members are happy to be filmed, because they have the right in law, ultimately if that’s their request she would like to honour it, but it doesn’t bother her.


Cllr Pringle said for clarification, have we sight of the right in law not to be filmed because as I was aware of the recent training, it was made abundantly clear to all who attended that these are meetings that can be filmed and that no stipulations can be put on it.


Cllr Griffiths confirmed that under GDPR and you have the right, certainly in meetings like this.  I think that Full Council is slightly different because you are summoned to that meeting. If no-one has a problem with then it’s not an issue, but if any particular person in this room does not want to be filmed, I understand they have that right. 


Cllr Adeleke asked that the legal expert advise us on this.


M Brookes confirmed that we do have a Code of Conduct on this issue which does allow filming, so unless any Councillor has a particularly strong view on it, then I believe the current position is that filming can be allowed.


Cllr Griffiths said that if any individual has the right to say they don’t want to be filmed, not that they have to leave the meeting, or they can’t be heard, they can ask not to be filmed.


M Brookes clarified that in an open public meeting there is a right to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


There was no apologies received.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -


(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent


and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial


(ii)           may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members


[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]



There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements or ask questions in accordance with the rules as to public participation


There was no public participation.


Consideration of any matter referred to the committee in relation to call-in




Berkhamsted Sports Centre pdf icon PDF 148 KB


The Sports Centre report was introduced by M Brookes and Members were asked for any questions.


The Chairman read out the recommendations which are as follows:

·         That Committee endorse the Minimum Project Requirements as set out in paragraph 2

·         To note the governance structure, the consultation strategy and the indicative project timeline.

The Chairman said with that in mind does anyone have any questions.


Cllr Mahmood wanted to clarify if the new centre will be going on the site of the existing centre.  M Brookes confirmed that the old centre will remain open until the new site is build, so it won’t be on the exact same footprint, it will be within the same site envelope, but we are looking at moving it further down to where the 3D pitches are at the moment and utilising where the existing site is for car parking etc.  But that’s got to be developed a lot more and there is various ideas which will form part of that.


Cllr Mahmood understood that it was early days, but what we are saying we are going to do is take the building, build one next door and then knock the other one down, so in terms of built area, apart from the extra facilities we can have a very similar footprint to what we started with.  M Brookes said that was our thoughts but as the design develops we will come back and consider all the different options.


Cllr Mahmood mentioned that the construction status, demolition always comes with dust and noise and wondered if it would be worth adding that there will be a construction stage and a demolition stage which may impact the local community, so it’s something people can look at environmentally as it’s quite a nuisance for local residents.  Cllr Mahmood noted that Berkhamsted Town Council are a stakeholder who are actively involved, so hopefully the Town Councillors will have an input on the design and the local people, which is good to see.  Cllr Mahmood also added that in terms of recommendations we have been talking a lot about climate change, he can see sustainability is mentioned, and in the spirit of recent decisions, it should include sustainability including any climate change initiative which may help give us a greener building and more environmentally friendly place to have fun in.


Cllr Pringle noted the inclusion of the splash pool is considered to be an add-on, but isn’t essential to the plan and would like to say as someone who lives in Northchurch and uses Berkhamsted, it’s in incredibly high demand for children’s and babies swimming.  When her children were younger, we had to go to Hemel and if there had been a facility it would have been used more, on behalf of people living in the area, that’s something we would probably really like to be included.  However something that would be of great concern, you use the term the existing building and the envelope which will include the football  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Physical Activity and Sports Action Plan pdf icon PDF 479 KB


M Rawdon introduced C Foster who presented the Physical Activity and Sports Action Plan then asked Committee for any comments.


Cllr England thanked C Foster for a very enjoyable 5K run and mentioned that what’s been said is really good and didn’t want to take away from that particularly it was good to hear that 790 children, that’s the kind of number that I’m really looking for all over this plan, it harps back to what was said in the summer.  It’s also good that you have a good relationship with DST because they are still around and clearly they are going to continue to be involved in doing some good stuff and we should make use of that.  Cllr England mentioned that the figures in the sports strategy, which this document supports, and there is a figure that the number of inactive people in Dacorum was at the writing of the strategy 21.2%, so I checked the most recently available figures, to see what progress we’ve actually made and was a little bit shocked to find that we’ve gone backwards, the latest figures, although these are in November 17/18 figures, show that we’ve gone from 21.2 to 22.1 so the number of completely inactive people in the Borough has actually gone up by nearly 1 percentage point.  1 percentage point on about 20% is a 5% increase in inactivity, that’s quite a dramatic figure.  The question is looking at the initiatives to reduce inactivity these don’t appear to be working yet, is this something which is a work in progress but what really worries me is we do seem to have gone backwards since we created the measuring a certain number of inactive people and then trying to reduce that.  If that strategic number is down what are the specific actions in this action plan which we are sure are going to restore and grow activity. 


Cllr Banks confirmed that the 5K was a spectacular day, we didn’t have the weather, but it was great.  She added that she totally agreed with you and you are always going to need to do more, I think one of the issues is your starting point in those figures are old details and appreciates that is the latest figures that are released but they are not current.  We are evolving a plan to tap into people where they are at.  We are not trying to deliver in gold standard high end sports activities for everyone, some of it is very low key, that’s how we will engage with people, the information as you’ve presented it is disappointing but I think your starting block is old information and I would expect that as later figures become available you will see that we have made significant improvement.


Cllr England advised that the figures also show that at the same time the comparative figures for the south east have improved, so Dacorum has worsened but the figures for the south east have improved, which makes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


HRA Business Plan pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:


F Williamson presented the HRA Business Plan report and asked Members if they had any questions.


Cllr Freedman queried the number of new units for the Borough and how many people would benefit, will they be two person units or family units.  F Williamson replied that the 280 units are not even at design stage at the moment.  We constantly monitor the demand from allocations team in respect of the people that are on the active housing register, we also take regard for affordable units that are being delivered by registered providers in the area, to make sure that there isn’t an over provision of one particular unit type.  The only ones that we have detail on are the ones that are currently in the pipeline.


Cllr Freedman mentioned that given the amount that’s been borrowed for these units, looking at those requirements that you’ve seen so far and your expertise in the area of how much these things costs, would you be able to give a rough figure in terms of the amount of people we would expect, what I’m trying to work out is are we talking 280 retirement units or are we talking 280 family units.  Most people will understand the amount of people that will be housed rather than units.  F Williamson confirmed that we don’t have that level detail in the Business Plan at the moment, what we do have is some ongoing work around supply and demand, so you mentioned sheltered schemes and supported housing units and there is a piece of work that is ongoing around looking at supply and demand within that particular area.  All of our development pipeline is focussing on general needs properties and that is based on a mix of single person units, through to three bed family homes.  We still have a relatively low demand for four and five bed properties and we do have enough within the stock and allowing for another project that we are working, which is moving to properties of a more suitable size for households to try and ensure that we have a suitable number of properties for the demand that’s out there.


Cllr Freedman said thank you very and that he was very glad to see that the council seized on being able to access more funds and build more, that’s certainly what we should be doing.


Cllr Barry noticed on P5 on 4.1.5 upgrading the stock to adapt to the zero carbon target for 2050 and wondered if we could do it sooner, because that’s 30 years away and if we can build an amazing new solar panelled sports centre within the next three, why can’t we have all our existing stock be carbon neutral before 2050.  F Williamson confirmed that with new build it’s included within the design brief, towards carbon neutral but in respect of the existing stock because some of the stock that we own is non-traditional, in terms of it’s construction and some we’ve inherited through Commission  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 120 KB



There were no changes to the Work Programme.